Soon Robots Will Be Controlled By Bacteria

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  • 6 years ago
  • Posted: July 18, 2015 at 12:10 pm

The advancement in artificial intelligence installed in robots will one day wipe out human race. The increased need for robots aimed at making work easier require complex legal systems to guide them, systems that are yet to put in place. The absence of the policy and legal framework to guide the implementation of robotic solutions to daily human tasks haven’t deterred scientists from researching on robotics, thus a team of intrepid scientists has created a mathematical model to predict how bacteria controlled robots might explore the world around them. Its widely known that bacteria are not controlled by levers and wires. The hypothetical robot was designed to monitor what color the bacteria were. The bacteria had a choice of green or red, and they switched between the two depending on what they consumed. The theoretical robot peered at them with a miniature microscope and measured the pigment and intensity of each color, which determined where and how fast the robot moved.

“The hypothetical robot moved toward a food (fuel) source in a predatory way, involving a sequence known as “stalk, pause, strike.” This behavior is seen in predatory animals when they creep up on their prey, halt before going for the attack and subdue their prey if successful.

Warren Ruder from Virginia Tech, who developed the model, described his reaction to the stalk, pause, strike behavior.”The microbiome can affect animal behavior with a few simple interactions, so I didn’t find it particularly alarming. Instead, it was exciting to see that a fundamental set of interactions were enough to cause a complicated behaviour.”

The project has been successful so fur and the group wants to share with the world. Ruder said. “We are actively building all of the components that we’ve actually simulated.” Ruder plans on building prototypes that will read E. coli expression levels with miniature fluorescent microscopes. Reports IflScience.

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“One area that I think it will be useful in is the area of biocontainment.” Ruder said. This approach to robotics could have a wealth of innovative applications in the fields of agriculture, healthcare and environmental cleanup. These fields all rely heavily on the relationships between bacteria and their hosts.

“We will be building safety nets into the robots’ design. We’re taking a weak strain of bacteria which could be modified to do other things but would remain dependent on the robotic life support system that encompasses it. As a result, there’s potentially loss of risk of organisms escaping and infiltrating the environment.”

“My experiments can be done with minimal funding. The price opens up this sort of research to a wide range of experimenters, although only people with access to a laboratory will be able engineer the bacteria.” Ruder said.

Technology has come a great way and the kind of innovations being made honestly scares me. Scientists from Karolinska Institutet made headlines three weeks ago when they were able to build a fully functional neuron by using organic bioelectronics. If the man made functional neurons and bacteria are installed or included in a single robot I think the machine qualifies to be human.

What is your opinion on the topic?
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